Rural Tourism In Cyprus Essay

3061 words - 12 pages

Rural tourism and the challenge of tourism diversification: the case of CyprusRural tourism has long been considered a means of achieving economic and social development and regeneration. More specifically, it has been widely promoted as an effective source of income and employment, particularly in peripheral rural areas where traditional agrarian industries have declined. More recently, however, a number of established tourism destinations have also turned to rural tourism in order to diversify their tourism products and markets and to spread the benefits of tourism away from the coastal resorts into the hinterland. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which this latter role for rural tourism represents a realistic tourism development policy. Based upon research into the development of `agrotourism' in Cyprus, it highlights the challenges and problems encountered by rural tourism entrepreneurs, identifying a number of issues which militate against the success of rural tourism development. In particular, it identifies high development costs but low returns, low demand, a lack of essential skills and the dominance of mass tourism operators as major challenges. It concludes, therefore, long-term financial and technical support is essential if tourism is to play an effective rural development role.Article Outline1. Introduction2. Rural tourism: a development panacea?3. Tourism in Cyprus4. The development of agrotourism in Cyprus5. Agrotourism in Cyprus: from policy to practice6. Agrotourism: a success story?7. Methodology8. The perceived benefits of agrotourism9. Agrotourism: the challenges9.1. Lack of support9.2. Lack of training9.3. Lack of local facilities/amenities9.4. Low occupancy levels9.5. Ineffective marketing10. Summary and conclusionsAcknowledgementsReference1. IntroductionTourism has long been considered an effective catalyst of rural socio-economic development and regeneration. Throughout Europe, in particular, tourism has been widely promoted and relied upon as a means of addressing the social and economic challenges facing peripheral rural areas, primarily those associated with the decline of traditional agrarian industries (Cavaco, 1995; Hoggart, Buller, & Black, 1995; Opperman, 1996; Williams & Shaw, 1998). It has also attracted significant levels of European structural funding. It has been estimated, for example, that 5.5 per cent of EU Structural Funds allocated to `Objective 1' (i.e. structurally backward) regions between 1989 and 1993 were invested in tourism development projects ( Hannigan and Hannigan) whilst, between 1994 and 1999, a total of Ecu 7.3 billion of structural funding was contributed to tourism development ( TTI, 1999). More specifically, over one-third of the original LEADER (Liaisons Entre Actions pour la Développment des Économies Rurales) projects were tourism related (Calatrava Requena, & Avilés, 1993; Nitsch & van Straaten, 1995).Rural tourism development...

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